Reserves of cash

Quick question:

What would be a realistic amount of cash for an NPC or a domain to have tucked away at any given time? The core rules give us an indication of income, but I’m at a real loss as to how much a barony would have lying around for those just in case moments.

I’d guess no more than 10% of annual income at best, and most likely a lot less. Wealth is meant to spent by the upper classes, not hoarded and saved. If an occasion arises where a lord needs a large amount of coin (to hire mercenaries for an immediate outbreak of hostilities, etc.) they’d need to borrow the funds. I don’t know if the Autarchs are going to work out rules for Moneylender, Userer, Banker to handle these situations.

An easy answer might be 4 times their XP value, same as monsters go, for any given NPC.

My offhand guess would be one month’s income.

A similar question, how about old kingdoms/empires? The default assumptions in ACKS seems to be based on newly emerging, PC driven ventures. But what about an old, preexisting realm? Say an Empire that has managed to stay in one line for 500 years? Would seem that there would be a lot more wealth, at least in magic items if nothing else, lying around as generations add to the accumulated pile…

Doubtless you will all be surprised to know that I have already created a table for this, the “Title, Wealth, and GP Threshold by Character Level” table.

Able-bodied human (Level 0) 100gp
Head of large family (Level 1)770gp
Head of a manor or hamlet (Level 2) 2,440gp
Head of a small barony or village (Level 3) 5,000gp
Head of a small barony or village (Level 4) 10,415gp
Head of a barony or large village (Level 5) 15,875gp
Head of a march (tribunal) or town (Level 6) 70,000gp
Head of a county or town (Level 7) 128,000gp
Head of a county (Level 8) - 187,000gp
Head of a small duchy or city (Level 9) 345,000gp
Head of a duchy or huge city (Level 10) 505,500gp
Head of a principality (Level 11) 1,140,000gp
Head of a small kingdom or large principality (Level 12) 1,775,000gp
Head of a kingdom (Level 13) 4,540,000gp
Head of a large kingdom or small empire (Level 14) 13,000,000gp

Until level 9, this net worth is more or less representative of the amount of wealth that an adventurer would accumulate in order to level. After level 9, an increasing amount comes from domain-level activities.

Historical Reference Point: In the ancient world (perhaps as compared to the medieval) a well-stocked treasury was considered to be of great import. The ancient India writer Sukra recommended a treasury equal to 20 years’ expenses, and the Persians had a treasury equal to 11 years’ expenses. Basil II of the Byzantine Empire allegedly accumulated 200,000 talents of gold. It is known he remitted taxes for two years. Alexander the Great is said to have captured 200,000 talents of silver from the Persian Empire. Each talent weighed 60lbs and was worth 6,000 drachma - 6,000sp in ACKS terms, or 600gp. The amount of money he captured is mind-blowing - 120 million gp.

Would those levels of wealth listed above include all of their possessions, or just coin on hand? It’s hard for me to imagine a typical level 0 commoner having enough coin on hand to buy a set of plate armor, shield and a sword. Sure, some level 1 PCs do, but aren’t they the exception?

I may end up being corrected, but from the 0-level value, that’s all their stuff; house, plow, cow.

Based from the Secret Ratio blog post:

Presumably, the higher you go more of that wealth may be represented as holdings of actual treasure, which, whatever that is, would be the complete answer to your question.

It’s all their possessions, yes.

So what about roll-over wealth? Dad, and grand dad, and great grand dad, etc all ruled the Empire and you do too. Sure, most of your xp is gained from taxes (and occasionally riding with a ton of personal guard to deal with some minor peasant rebellion) but still, you too have reached 14th level.

Wouldn’t that accumulated wealth continue to compound? Dad wanted a Sword +3 but I really fancy a nice Warhammer +3 to go with it. Etc, etc, etc.

I’d be tempted to call it a wash between generations. Fortresses fall into disrepair. Magic items are lost when loaned to heroes who fail in their quests, or given to non-inheriting offspring as consolation prizes.

If rolling for magic items maybe for arms and armor one could increase the +1 items to +2, and the +2 items to +3 for long-running dynasties. That could represent the dynasty hanging on to the best items while gifting/losing the lesser items. For other items maybe each roll actually turns into 2 rolls, but only the “best” of the 2 is kept.

I don’t find it interesting to have an old dukedom sitting on a pile of +1 swords that have accumulated over the generations. YMMV.

How does this work in relation to cost of living / living expenses? In order to actually accumulate wealth, you need a higher income than your living expenses. These numbers are so close to the experience requirements I don’t see how any expenses are included.

(In my campaign the players are having serious problems actually gaining wealth, almost everything looted is spent on living expenses.)

When you say Living Expenses, are you referring to the Standard of Living table on p.39, or something else?

The expenses shown on the SoL table are guidelines, not mandates. Your adventurers do not have to spend that much. That simply represents society’s expectations of what a similarly-situated person who wasn’t an adventurer would spend. For instance, a person of X level is typically of Y noble rank, and Y nobles spend Z gold.

Sadly, I do not have a table for this. You will have to develop your own Inter-Generational Inheritance and Depreciation Rules! :smiley:

I use the Standard of Living table. (More precisely the Henchman monthly fee table for the exact numbers.) I find what you say here a bit contradicting to what you said in this old thread:
“Cost of living expense is similar to domain garrison expense in that it’s a minimum you need to spend in order to avoid being penalized.”

My main reasons for having high cost of living are:

  1. Discourage the five-minute adventuring day seen in some other systems.
  2. Encourage taking risks to gain wealth.
  3. Making monetary loot matter more than being just a number.

I don’t think my two opinions are in conflict.

Your reasons for charging living expenses are all good reasons to do so. But if your players aren’t able to keep up (maybe they’ve had a bad run and are desperate for cash) they could certainly cut their spending to save up. It’s a social custom, not a physical law.

If they don’t maintain their standard of living, the Judge can penalize them in a variety of ways: Require loyalty checks from henchmen and hirelings concerned about their masters’ stability; penalize reaction rolls for new hirelings who don’t want to sign up with a band that’s obviously doing badly; etc.

Ok, then I think we agree.

Thank you.

What I do is sort of give them a range. Spend low and you get a -1 to reaction rolls/loyalty checks for the month. Middle road you are even on and high you get a +1 to those rolls. Months where the party is on the road/in a dungeon don’t count.

But yes, they do bleed money like water, but I blame that on their insistence on having max henchmen…which is a choice, but it has an obvious cost. :slight_smile:

Oh…my…GOD! I found something you don’t already have a table for?

I think I need a drink…

:wink: :slight_smile:

I think Pendragon may have a table for that.